Call for submissions: “A Quiet Afternoon”, a paid anthology of low-stakes comfort fiction.
What to Submit
Stakes have never been milder or more reasonable. For this anthology, Grace&Victory Publishing is looking for comfy, cozy, lo-fi stories. What do we mean by "lo-fi"? Well, the opposite of chosen-one-saves-the-world. We want low stakes and reasonable expectations: trips that turn a bit wonky but end all right, meet-cutes, bad days that end with metaphorical feet up on the couch. We want things to turn out all right—stories that take our mind off the downpour while we wait for the bus or unmoving queue; that give us an excuse to pour another warm beverage and let the dishes soak, because sometimes we don't need more stress, however literary it may be.
Speculative fiction is the way to our hearts, and while you might think that spec-fic and low stakes don’t go together, consider Janet Kagan’s small-town wizard chasing away rainy-day blues in What a Wizard Does, Theodore Sturgeon’s domestic drama (with space aliens!) in Hurricane Trio, or Studio Ghibli movies like Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service.
That being said, we’re not opposed to non-speculative fiction, but our tastes do skew in that direction, however slight the spec-fic elements may be.
What we don't want:
We trust you to use your judgment to decide if your story is something pleasant for others to read. Racist/homophobic/transphobic/fatphobic/really any kind of hateful phobia/ism has no place here, and we don’t want to read about rape, sexual violence, or abuse. We are not a market for gore or erotica. Less obviously, we don’t want stories about depression or ennui; excerpts from memoirs unless your life could be made into a Ghibli movie; or stories where the end goal is getting pregnant or having children.
Also, no poetry. It’s just not in our wheelhouse. Feel free to be experimental with your prose, but the closer to poetry it is, the harder a sell it will be.
Length and Payment
We accept stories between 500–5,000 words, with the sweet spot being under 3,000. Payment is $0.01CAD per word, with payment capping at $30CAD. (See why 3K words is the sweet spot?) If you think you have the perfect story but it's over 5K, feel free to send a query email to see if it's something we might want to read anyway—but it will still be capped at $30CAD. For these considerations, authors grant us First World Electronic Rights (the right to publish their story in electronic format for the first time) and Non-Exclusive Archival Rights (the right to keep a copy of the story on our website), and agree not to publish the story elsewhere in any form, including on their personal website or blog, from the time of its acceptance by Grace&Victory until six months after we publish it. We’re a Canadian publisher, so Canadian/British spelling win Nanaimo bar points (like brownie points, but Canadian), but don't worry about changing American spelling for us—we'll add all the u's back in before we publish.
How To Submit
Send your submissions to graceandvictorypublishing AT gmail DOT com, pasted into the body of the email under a short cover letter. Attached files will be deleted unread. Seriously, no attachments. Use the subject line "SUBMISSION: Story Title by Author Name". In your cover letter, please include your name, word count, genre, and where you learned of this post (or Binder!). Don’t bother with a synopsis, we'll just read the story. Submissions are open until December 31, 2019.
Simultaneous submissions are fine, but do let us know if your story gets accepted elsewhere. No multiple submissions, but if your story is rejected you may send another if it’s before the deadline. We aim to get all responses sent within 60 days after the submission period has closed. If you haven’t heard from us by then, please query our submission email.